A group of Christchurch kids kept themselves busy over the school holidays tending their plants in preparation for the school gardens exhibition-style displays at Grow Ō Tautahi Christchurch Garden Festival.
Nine primary schools from around the region are taking part in the free, homegrown garden festival, creating display gardens that reflect their values and local surroundings
The schools involved are: Banks Avenue School, St Albans Catholic School, Heathcote Valley School, West Rolleston, St Marks, West Eyreton, West Melton, Burnside Primary, and Diamond Harbour.
The gardens have been growing since late last year, but a little extra work was needed over the holiday period.
Nicky Ryan-Yates, of St Albans Catholic School, held two holiday workings bees.
“We were so lucky to have the support of Oderings Garden Centre, who lent us the space to store the plants over the holidays and held tours for our garden club. Working bees were a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to learn more about gardening, like how different potting mixes are made, how cuttings are taken and how seedlings are potted.
“They were amazed to see the growth of their plants over summer and everyone is incredibly excited about being part of Grow Ō Tautahi.”
Grow Ō Tautahi Festival Director Sandi MacRae says school kids will be on-site during the festival to talk to visitors about their gardens and what they represent.
“When we were planning the Festival, we were clear it had to reflect local people and local ideas. It has been fantastic to get so many local primary schools involved to show off their gardening skills in creations that reflect their values.
“We’re working closely with the schools to support their displays, but these are all their own creations and it’s their hard work that has gone in to producing the exhibits. I know Cantabrians will love these gardens and they are sure to be real feature of the Festival.”
The school garden creations will include an edible salad bowl, a celebration of native plants, a focus on wellness, a reflection on life in the red zone and many more great ideas.
Grow Ō Tautahi is a free, homegrown garden festival designed specifically for the Garden City. It is a creative and environmentally aware event that draws on the best ideas from the local community, schools, garden designers, scientists, food gatherers and top chefs. It is going to be held in the Botanic Gardens from 20 to 22 March.